Top 10 most famous lakes in India | interesting facts

A lake is a waterbody surrounded by land. Because of its diverse geography, India is home to a variety of lakes from glacial to man-made lakes. Some of the lakes in India are great tourist spots. Others, on the other hand, are so high up in the mountains, it becomes a feat if you get to see them. Below discussed are the top 10 most famous lakes in India.

Nainital Lake

Nainital Lake in Nainital, India
Nainital Lake
  • Location: Nainital, Uttarakhand
  • Area: ~0.5 sq km
  • Water type: freshwater
  • Maximum depth: ~30 m
  • Surface elevation: 1,938 m

Nainital lake is the primary attraction of the famous Kumaon hill station, Nainital. It is probably the most visited lake in India. Naini Lake is what makes Nainital stand out from other hill stations of the Himalayas. Climbing the Naina peak (highest peak of the area) and looking down at the Naini lake and the town is what every trekking enthusiast dreams of. Moreover, there are other beautiful lakes nearby Nainital e.g. Bhimtal, Sattal, Naukuchiatal, etc.


Dal Lake

Dal Lake in Srinagar, India
Dal Lake
  • Location: Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Area: 22 sq km
  • Max depth: ~6 m
  • Surface elevation: 1,583 m

Dal lake located in Srinagar is famous for its houseboats and floating market. It is known by so many other names such as “lake of flowers”, “Srinagar’s jewel”, etc. The lake freezes in winters when the temperature drops quite a few notches below freezing, making it a unique tourist destination.


Chilika Lake

A view from a boat at Chilika lake
Chilika Lake
  • Location: Odissa
  • Area: 1,165 sq km
  • Water type: Brackish
  • Max depth: 4.2 m
  • Surface elevation: 0-2 m

Chilika lake is actually a lagoon, in fact, the largest lagoon in India. A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger water body by reefs, sand, or barrier island.

Aerial view of a Lagoon
A lagoon

Chilika lake forms an ecosystem of international importance as it hosts hundreds of species of migratory birds. It is also the second-largest brackish water lagoon in the world.


Lake Pichola

Lake Pichola in Udaipur, India
Lake Pichola
  • Location: Udaipur, Rajasthan
  • Area: 55 sq km
  • Water type: freshwater
  • Maximum depth: 8.5 meters

Lake Pichola is an artificial lake created in the 14th century to meet the drinking water and irrigation needs. Now, it also serves as a popular tourist attraction of the lake city Udaipur.


Pangong Tso

Pangong Tso
Pangong Lake
  • Location: Ladakh
  • Area: ~600 sq km
  • Water type: Eastern part is freshwater, western part is saline.
  • Max depth: 100 m
  • Surface elevation: 4,250 m

Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake is a high-altitude lake located in Ladakh. The lake is a popular destination for bikers. You need to have a special permit to visit the lake.


Gurudongmar Lake

Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim, India
Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim, India
  • Location: Sikkim
  • Area: ~1.15 sq km
  • Water type: freshwater
  • Surface elevation: 5,183 m(17,000 ft)

Gurudongmar lake is the second-highest lake in India. Just like Pangong Tso, Gurudongmar lake is also a popular destination for biking adventures. The lake holds religious importance for Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs.


Loktak Lake

  • Location: Manipur
  • Area: 980 sq km
  • Water type: freshwater
  • Maximum depth: 4.6 meters

Loktak lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India. It is widely known for its Phumdis which are floating islands made up of organic matter and vegetation.


Chandra Taal

Chandra Taal
  • Location: Himachal Padesh
  • Surface elevation: 4,250 m

Chandra Taal is a high-altitude lake in Himachal Pradesh east of the Chenab river. It servers as a camping spot for high-altitude trekkers and biking enthusiasts. The lake is roughly the shape of a crescent hence named Chandrataal.


Ooty Lake

  • Location: Ooty, Tamil Nadu
  • Area: ~4 sq km
  • Surface elevation: ~2,200 metres.

This lake located in the beautiful hill station Ooty is similar to Naini lake. The lake servers as a boating spot with a market nearby to eat and buy souvenirs. There are many other lakes in Ooty with similar settings but Ooty lake is the most visited as it is located in the city center.


Roopkund Lake

  • Location: Chamoli, Uttarakhand
  • Surface elevation: 4,800 meters

Roopkund is a high-altitude glacial lake located in Uttarakhand. It is often referred to as “skeleton lake” because hundreds of human skeletons have been found near the lake. It servers as a popular trekking destination for hardcore trekkers.


Some information about lakes in India

  • Tso Lhamo lake is the highest lake in India. It is located in Sikkim and has a surface elevation of 5,930 m(19,460 ft).
  • Wular lake is the largest freshwater lake in India located in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Vembanad lake is the largest lake in India having an area of 2,033 sq km. It is located in Kerala and is both a freshwater and brackish water type.

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